At a private meeting of the Joint Saudi-British Business Council on the sidelines of the Sixth Annual Jeddah Economic Forum, Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland Prince Turki Al-Faisal set out his analysis and projections for the future of Saudi-British business relations. He praised businessmen in general not only for their economic mettle but also their efforts in the face of terrorism. British investment in the Kingdom last year, he said, totaled U.S. $3.5 billion; this is proof that no heed is paid to terrorists by investors or businessmen.
The United Kingdom is Saudi Arabia's second largest trade partner in Europe, after Germany. Taking part in the meeting was Prince Andrew, Duke of York, second son of U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth.
Reflecting the Forum’s theme of capacity-building, Prince Turki spoke of the importance of developing a qualified workforce, not only to attract foreign investment but to keep domestic investment in the country, and confirmed that the Saudi government is investing heavily in education and training.
Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Hashem Yamani detailed the benefits for the business community of recent economic reforms such as the privatization programs covering a wide range of industries including the generation and distribution of electricity.